INTERVIEW: Kolo Toure has been observing his former club’s struggles since Sadio Mane’s departure in the summer, and believes the Reds are correct not to bring him back
Kolo Toure believes Liverpool are missing “big personality” Sadio Mane, but he does not expect Jurgen Klopp to re-sign the Senegal international given the club’s two new attacking talents in the last year.
Mane, 31, left Liverpool last summer for Bayern Munich after six seasons on Merseyside. During his time with the Reds, he scored 120 goals and helped the club win six trophies, including the Premier League and Champions League.
Liverpool fans have speculated about Mane returning to the club after his transfer fell through. Liverpool currently sits seventh in the Premier League table, while Mane has only scored seven goals in the Bundesliga this season. Toure, on the other hand, does not see a reunion happening.
Toure was a member of Liverpool’s squad when Klopp took over in October 2015. “Jurgen is a top manager,” Toure said on behalf of BT Sport to Mirror Football. “He’s been winning in Germany, and now he’s winning here.” Every club will go through a period of transition.
“I believe losing [Sadio] Mane was significant for them… Mane stood out for me because he could both score and provide goals, but he also had a big personality. He’s a player who, when the going got tough, delivered.
“But I still believe they’re looking for the new Liverpool.” Jurgen is looking to bolster his team by bringing in new players who will fit in well. But I’m sure he’ll do it because he’s a guy with a lot of experience and great man-management skills.
“I had a great time with him, and I believe he will find a way to bring the team back together to fight for the title again.”
Mane made headlines earlier this month for all the wrong reasons after an altercation with Leroy Sane. Bayern Munich dropped and fined the Liverpool legend for his role in the squabble, casting doubt on his long-term future.
Since last summer, Liverpool has signed Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez to fill the void left by Mane, but neither player has found his feet in the Premier League. Toure has urged Klopp to stick with the new signings and give them time to adjust to life in England.
“I think he’ll stick with them,” Toure added. He must give them time to demonstrate their ability to fit into the Liverpool team. As a player, you must do your best to demonstrate that you are capable of performing for them. If you don’t, the next [player] will take your place.
“Jurgen is a fantastic manager; he’s doing an excellent job.” I believe he is looking for players who will have the chemistry to keep the team fighting for the title.”